Caution Urged in Water Around Black Canyon Reservoir

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212

For Release: May 29, 2003

The Bureau of Reclamation is cautioning boaters, swimmers and others recreating at Black Canyon Reservoir to be aware of excessive debris and high water flows which may pose a danger.

Black Canyon Dam and reservoir is located on the Payette River adjacent to State Highway 52 near Emmett, Idaho.

"At the present time there are unusually swift currents in the reservoir behind Black Canyon Dam, causing excessive debris in the water and making it unsafe for boaters, jet skis and swimmers," said Robert Adams, Reclamation facility manager. The water flow is in excess of 10,000 cubic feet per second and some very large logs have been seen in the water.

"Our primary concern is public safety, so we are advising boaters to exercise caution and to stay away from the dam," Adams said. "Higher temperatures are resulting in rapid snowmelt, which brings faster water inflows into the reservoir and some very murky water."

Crews are working to keep the shore areas around the parks as clear as possible, but some shoreline may prove potentially dangerous with large floating debris. Reclamation is urging boaters and swimmers to wear floatation devices and to keep an eye out for potential dangers.

The increased flows may continue if temperatures continue to rise through the weekend, Adams said.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.